State-run telecom company BSNL is to become the first company to cut down tariffs, in order to compete with Reliance Jio. This can be termed as the beginning of the tariff war, that has been expected ever since the Ambanis announced the launch of the Reliance Jio. BSNL though seems to have gone a step ahead of Reliance and miles ahead of other networks in terms of reaching to its customers in India. BSNL is reportedly launching lifetime free voice call plans from 2017, which is only a part of their renewed policies. While Jio services will only be available to 4G users, BSNL will embrace all 2G and 3G users without any discrimination, which constitutes the majority of our population. In an interview with TOI, Anupam Srivastava, Chairman and Managing Director BSNL said that the state-run company will be having a close look at Jio’s performance and devise policies that cost lower than the Reliance product.
BSNL has a very strong market presence a wide reach in terms of network coverage. It is also the most commonly used network and has significant shares in states such as Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, and Odisha among others. The company is reported to announce zero-voice-tariff plans from January 2017 which could be lower than the Rs 149 price tag of Reliance Jio.
The new plans are also to be offered to BSNL’s broadband users at their houses. Srivastava said that the idea behind the plan is to use the user’s home broadband to re-route their outgoing voice calls from their mobile phones through their landlines. The free-voice facility is also to be made available to the user when he uses the connection outside his residence.
BSNL, with this new plans, has definitely put a tonne of pressure on other telecom networks such as Airtel+, Vodafone etc to cut down their tariff rates by quite some margin. failing to do so, will put them way behind the companies, that are willing to, for the customers, no matter how loyal they might be, appreciate services at lower prices.